Tuesday, October 13, 2015
U.S. Congratulates Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2015
Statement by the President Congratulating the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Recipients
On behalf of the American people, I congratulate Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. This brave coalition of workers, industry, lawyers and human rights advocates is an inspiring reminder that lasting peace and security can only be achieved when citizens are empowered to forge their own future and that democracy is both possible and necessary in the North Africa and the Middle East.
In the five years since a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire to protest an oppressive dictatorship, the Tunisian people have made remarkable strides in building an inclusive democracy, and the Quartet has played an indispensable role. When the promise of the Jasmine Revolution was in doubt, the Quartet helped to bring Tunisians together in a peaceful dialogue. With the Quartet’s support, Tunisians voted in free elections, forged a new constitution that upholds human rights and equality for all people, including women and minorities, and formed a national unity government, including secular and Islamist parties, showing that democracy and Islam can indeed thrive together.
Today’s award is therefore also a tribute to the perseverance and courage of the Tunisian people who, in the face of political assassinations and terrorist attacks, have come together in a spirit of unity, compromise and tolerance. I welcomed President Caid Essebsi, Tunisia’s first democratically elected president, to the White House this year to reaffirm America’s support for Tunisia’s democracy, and I have been proud to meet with Tunisian students–young men and women who are working to create more opportunity and prosperity in their country. In a region gripped by so much tumult and violence, Tunisia points the way to a better future – one in which stability is pursued through peaceful dialogue, not violence and division.
Just as the world must support the Tunisian people, we must stand with civil society groups around the world who advocate, often at great risk to themselves, for the human rights and inherent dignity of every human being. In this never-ending work for justice and peace, these fearless men and women have a steadfast partner in the United States of America.
The Nobel Peace Prize for the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
Secretary of State
October 9, 2015
I congratulate Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet for their selection as winners of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.
This extraordinary honor recognizes the critical role civil society organizations played following the Tunisian revolution — by preserving national unity and constructing a political process that led to both a constitution and free and fair national elections.
As assassinations and street protests roiled domestic politics in 2013, the National Dialogue Quartet played an invaluable role in keeping Tunisia’s transition on track. These organizations promoted consensus-building and social cooperation by working across the spectrum of Tunisian society to advance dialogue and foster Tunisia’s continuing democratic transition. Their inspiring achievement is a shining example for all societies that are working towards an inclusive transition from dictatorship to democracy.
We laud Tunisian leaders from across the political spectrum who worked with the Quartet and others in civil society and who made difficult compromises for the sake of the Tunisian people. The Tunisian model of inclusivity and respecting fundamental freedoms of all its citizens is the best answer to the violence and extremist ideologies that have torn apart other countries in the region.
The United States remains committed to supporting the Tunisian people and their government as they continue to strengthen and protect their democracy and fulfill their aspirations for a safe, secure, and prosperous future.